The Ecological Opportunity
Science, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Blandine Laperche, Nadine Levratto and Dimitri Uzunidis
Introduction: The Ecological Opportunity in a Global System in Crisis
Blandine Laperche, Nadine Levratto and Dimitri Uzunidis After nearly 30 years of financial, social and environmental disasters, the model of the minimum state and the principle of laisser-faire are being strongly questioned. In the face of the new Great Depression, three responses currently seem possible: a) let the capital markets act and continue to devalue any junk assets (monetary, technological and human) with, as a consequence, economic revival based on the emergence of new technologies and activities, with the risk of generating, at the end of the period, a plethora of unused capital; b) create a new world financial architecture without a hegemonic currency, with the risk of curling up in national cocoons. This could lead countries to focus on national interests – at the expense of actions that could solve global problems, notably in the field of environment – and thus multiply the pretexts for conflict; c) invent new modes of co-development without focusing on the rescue of the financial system through the equivalence of currencies which leads to speculation, due to the investment of capital in the financial sphere. At the same time, the future of humanity and its connections with the rest of the animal and plant worlds could be redrawn. Moreover, ‘despite a huge literature on the economic implications of warming, the costs of tackling it, and the role of economic policy instruments in the control of greenhouse gas emissions, economic arguments have not been to the fore in the public presentations on the issue’ (Stern, 2008, p.7)...